One of the most important exercises in the brand strategy process is creating customer profiles. When designing your logo, identity, or marketing materials, it is important to remember that we are designing for your audience. A good way to define your audience is by creating profiles that represent your ideal customer.
“A Buyer Persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal buyer based on data, interviews, and some educated guesses.”
Customer profiles are helpful in making decisions on the look, feel, voice, and tone of your brand. When you more accurately have an idea of who you are championing, you have a clearer understanding of what bullseye you are trying to hit. A profile will help you nail down the execution strategy of design work and messaging for your business. Profiles will also help your employees understand your audience better when selling to a new prospect or engaging in a customer service call.
Remember not everyone is your customer. This is a good thing. You’re not the best fit for everyone, and that’s ok. You want to attract the right kinds of customers who will enjoy your product or service. You want them to then go on and advocate for your brand, telling their friends, and leaving positive reviews.
“It doesn't do any good at all to know that you can't please everyone but not use that knowledge to be bolder, walk lighter and do better work for those you can please.”
I think creating 2 or 3 customer profiles is usually the most successful. One for your current customers, one for your ideal customers, and then possibly another one if you have more than one segment in your target audience. Don’t get too carried away though. Remember not everyone is your audience. When you’ve created your profiles, hang them up in your office, or keep them on hand at all times. This will help you remember that you are always working for your customers. It will help you remember who these customers are and give you ideas on what you can do to reach them and help solve their problems.
These are things I like to include in customer profiles:
1. Psychographics / Demographics
Age, Gender, Education, Marriage Status, Hobbies, Brand Affinity
What problems are they having? What are some compelling events that have taken place that made them realize their problem?
3. Expectations and Desires
What do they expect? What are they seeking in a solution?
4. Obstacles and Objections
What are the bumps in the road? What is stopping them from arriving at a solution?
Why do they or would they love your brand?
Include a picture of what your person might look like.
Creating customer profiles is a fun exercise and one that should include a multitude of different people in your organization. It can really help bring focus to your team and get everyone aligned in a common goal to reach your audience. Remember, we are designing and crafting messages based on their needs and how we can solve their problems. Profiles will help everyone understand how we are solving these problems and who we are solving them for.
When you’ve created your profile, I like to create a user journey, or illustrate a funnel, for each profile, to help determine the right channel for the right messaging and design. I talk about this in my previous blog post: